Tonight and tomorrow, House Republicans are expected to once again shoot themselves in the foot by pandering to their base and attacking immigrants. The legislation and amendments they are pushing would overturn President Obama’s recent executive action as well as the hugely successful DACA program begun in 2012. Republicans are, of course, trying to claim that their actions are a response to executive “overreach” rather than anything to do with immigration — however, advocates across the country are making the true meaning of this week’s votes clear. The GOP is once again championing the mass deportation of all immigrants, and telling Latinos and immigrants to get out. Here are a few statements from advocacy groups from coast to coast:
Speaker Boehner and Republican party efforts to roll back the President’s executive order are nothing less than a declaration of war against Latino and immigrant families. We worked tirelessly for years to ensure that President Obama and the Democrats rolled back unprecedented deportation levels. Now, we will do everything within our power to stop bigoted Republican efforts to tear apart Latino families and deport Dreamers en masse. Republicans should think twice before going to war against Latino families.
Alliance for Citizenship:
If Republicans had their way and these amendments became law, immigration officials would have no discretion and no sensible priorities to follow. The end result would be that parents, spouses of military personnel, long-time residents of the country, crime victims, and young people who came here as children would all be top priorities for deportation because immigration officials would no longer be allowed to consider the individual circumstances of each person’s case. This would be bad for immigrant families, the economy, and our nation as a whole.
Republicans keep saying they want comprehensive immigration reform, yet every time the topic is up for debate and Congress considers immigration-related legislation, they only succeed at introducing and rallying behind radical anti-immigrant measures.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice:
Immigrants and their families have fought hard for relief and now this current Congress is set to undo all our progress, without offering us a real solution for 11 million undocumented immigrants and their families. By deciding to attach these poison-pill amendments to the Homeland Security appropriations bill, this new Congress has clearly shown it has no interest in finding legislative solutions that keep families together, protect workers and strengthen businesses. Real lives are at stake here, and lives should not be the subject of political games.
These efforts to repeal the President’s immigration actions are not about the Constitution. They are an attack on immigrant children and families living in fear of deportation, but contributing nonetheless to our communities and economy every day. America needs common sense and compassionate immigration reform, not red meat politics driven by a powerful Republican majority willing to hold up must-pass legislation to frighten and confuse immigrant workers and their families.
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:
More than 35,000 immigrant youths in Illinois can work, go to school, and move forward with their lives thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Many thousand more immigrant parents—and their US citizen and green-card holding children–could similarly benefit from the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program. Yet House Republicans apparently want to destroy the lives of these youths, parents, and children by subjecting them to detention and deportation.